INDIA: Salesian Program Participates in Earth Hour to Focus on Environmental Concerns in India
(MissionNewswire) India’s environmental concerns are growing. From pollution and access to safe water to deforestation and the wildlife trade, India faces critical environmental challenges. And as the country’s population and economy grows so does the need to find long-term, sustainable environmental solutions.
WWF Global has noted that India faces increasing competition for water among various sectors, including agriculture, industry, domestic, drinking and energy generation. The competition is causing this natural resource to dry up, and increasing pollution is leading to the destruction of wildlife that live in waterways.
Since 2007, WWF Global, along with its international partners, has promoted Earth Hour which is celebrated each year in March. This past March 23, close to one billion people switched off their lights at 8:30 p.m. (local time) for one hour in a display of universal commitment to protect the planet.
Begun in Australia, the event has grown to include celebrations in 5200 cities in 152 countries. Earth Hour was created to unite people to show a respect for and desire to protect the planet, encourage and empower people to carry their action beyond just the one hour and to work towards a global, interconnected community all working towards a sustainable future.
Greenline, the Salesians of Don Bosco’s environmental organization, in collaboration with Don Bosco Matunga Campus in Mumbai, India, participated. For one hour all electric lights were turned off to motivate the public to counter climate change and to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.
“Becoming more environmentally conscious is important for every one of us,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “It’s important to instill these lessons in youth who will become our leaders of tomorrow. We must all work together to find sustainable solutions to address environmental concerns in India and around the globe.”
The Salesians had 350 participants including school and college aged youth from various parts of the city. Mumbai’s Mayor, Sunil Prabhu, also participated in the Earth Hour event. He congratulated the city for its growing interest in environmental issues and expressed his delight in the many young people attending the event which he indicated was a sign that Mumbai would see a greener future.
When the lights were turned off Mayor Prabhu lit the first candle and presented it to the youngest participant. After all the participants had lighted their candles, the Candle Lit Rally began. All along the rally’s route, the participants sang environmental awareness songs that had been composed for the occasion. The event walk culminated in a flash mob.
Beyond this one event, GreenLine has long promoted environmental causes in Mumbai and continues to do so with its work on several environmental issues currently concerning the city.
Earth Hour – Event Website
WWF Global – Earth Hour